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May 29, 2009
Players/Officials: Keith Barker | Ian Harvey | Robbie Joseph | Craig Spearman | Graeme Swann | Jonathan Trott | Jim Troughton | Riki Wessels
Matches: Sussex v Hampshire at Hove | Yorkshire v Lancashire at Leeds | Kent v Middlesex at Canterbury | Northamptonshire v Glamorgan at Northampton | Somerset v Gloucestershire at Taunton | Warwickshire v Worcestershire at Birmingham
Graeme Swann warmed up for England duty in some style by swiping an incredible 90 not out from 47 balls against Derbyshire to turn a tricky Nottinghamshire run-chase into a stroll under the floodlights at Derby. Swann came to the crease in the first over of the innings, following the dismissal of Ali Brown, and was still there when the match ended 14.4 overs later, with 13 fours and two sixes to his name. Adam Voges (45 from 30 balls) shared in an unbroken 112-run stand for the third wicket and only Graham Wagg, with 2 for 41, was able to break through for Derbyshire. At the halfway mark, their total of 158 for 5 seemed a stiff challenge, thanks to half-centuries for Wavell Hinds and Greg Smith. But Swann's confidence at present is soaring.
Lancashire completed an impressive Roses double by securing their second victory in a week against Yorkshire, and this time in enemy territory at Headingley. Sajid Mahmood and Glen Chapple combined well with two cheap wickets apiece to keep Yorkshire's batting under wraps, and only their top-scorer, Jacques Rudolph, managed more than a run a ball, falling eventually to Gary Keedy for 38 from 33 balls. In reply, chasing a meagre 112, Paul Horton chimed in with 29 from 16 balls, leaving Steven Croft to ease Lancashire over the line by five wickets with an unbeaten 40 from 49.
Jacques du Toit was Leicestershire's last-gasp hero at Chester-le-Street, as he wrapped up a seven-wicket victory by cracking a six and a four off the last two balls of the match to sneak his side past Durham. Chasing 145 for victory, Leicestershire seemed to have lost their way despite an 82-run stand for the third wicket between Paul Nixon and James Allenby. When Paul Collingwood removed Allenby for 53, 11 runs were still required, but du Toit needed just three runs to rattle those off to deliver his team's first victory of the competition. Their other star of the night was the teenage seamer, Alex Wyatt, who took 3 for 14 on his Twenty20 debut.
Middlesex's faltering defence of the Twenty20 Cup continued against Kent - the team they defeated in last season's final at the Rose Bowl - with a four-wicket defeat at Canterbury. Batting first, Middlesex never came to terms with the new-ball threat of Robbie Joseph, who strangled their bid for momentum with 2 for 14 in four overs. The top five managed two fours between them, and even Tyron Henderson was limited to a solitary six as he top-scored with 31 from 38 balls. A target of 105 never looked like being enough, not even when Alan Richardson bagged both openers with six runs on the board. Martin van Jaarsveld and Ryan McLaren kept the chase on course as Kent eased home with 10 balls to spare.
Essex manoeuvred themselves towards the top of the South Division table with a thrilling final-over victory over Surrey at Chelmsford. After the late dismissals of Matt Walker and Ryan ten Doeschate, Grant Flower hit the winning boundary with one delivery remaining, but it was Ravi Bopara who ignited the run-chase with 53 from 41 balls. Surrey's total of 165 for 5 was built around a fantastic unbeaten 81 from 60 balls from their opener Scott Newman, but it was not enough.
Chris Nash made easy work of Hampshire's modest total of 122 for 7, cruising to an unbeaten 56 from 47 balls and sealing the contest with a six, as Sussex picked up their second victory of the competition at Hove. Nash was joined in an unbroken third-wicket stand with Dwayne Smith, who made 31 from 29 balls and had earlier picked up two wickets in his only over of the match. James Kirtley also struck twice in a disciplined bowling performance, and only Michael Carberry, with 36 from 38 balls, was able to hang around long enough to build an innings.
Ian Harvey and Riki Wessels turned on the style for Northamptonshire with a pair of hard-hitting half-centuries to bat Glamorgan out of the contest at Wantage Road. Harvey made 64 from 37 balls and Wessels 55 not out from 34, as Northants romped to a commanding score of 195 for 3 in their 20 overs. In reply, Mark Cosgrove replied in kind with a bruising 40 from 22 balls, but he found scant support with Jamie Dalrymple's 24 from 29 the next highest score. Harvey completed a fine allround match with 3 for 24, while Johan van der Wath - who had earlier clubbed 27 from 13 balls - took 3 for 23. Glamorgan batted out their full 20 overs, but still fell 40 runs short.
Craig Spearman's 51 from 29 balls proved the difference at Taunton, where Gloucestershire picked up their first win of the competition by inflicting Somerset's their first defeat - by 21 runs. Spearman's innings contained six fours and a six, and was supported by some sterling cameos from Hamish Marshall and Will Porterfield, who made 27 runs from 15 balls between them, and Richard Dawson, who was unbeaten on 27 from 20 at the end. Chasing 163, Somerset lost Craig Kieswetter and Marcus Trescothick early, and though Justin Langer and Peter Trego threw the bat gamely in the closing stages, they were always behind the asking-rate.
Jonathan Trott and Jim Troughton produced a pair of half-centuries to ensure Warwickshire the West Midlands bragging rights against local rivals Worcestershire at Edgbaston. Chasing 149, the pair added 97 for the second wicket to put the result beyond doubt, and Trott was still there at the end with 53 from 48 balls as victory was secured with seven wickets and 10 balls remaining. Earlier Worcestershire had produced a piecemeal innings in which only two men reached double-figures. Daryl Mitchell made 35 from 31 balls, but the undoubted star was the recent England Twenty20 opener, Steve Davies, whose 73 from 48 balls contained nine fours and a six. He eventually fell, however, to Keith Barker, who returned the impressive - and ultimately matchwinning - figures of 4 for 19.
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